Sunday, December 1, 2019

Cloud Peak 500 - Navigation

Nothing like a long, wintry weekend to scour maps, research reports and dream up rides. After hours and hours of riding remote roads through my mind, I eventually wind back to the Cloud Peak 500, an increasingly real ride for me in 2020. I pull out maps and notes for a closer look at the planned roads, distances, elevation gains, water sources, food re-supplies, and camping options. Soon, I realize that I need a better map.

Oh, the Cloud Peak 500 blog post announcing the route (Cloud Peak 500) includes a nice gpx file of the entire route (Cloud Peak 500 gpx). In fact, I use that digital map to create a set of cue sheets. For a hard copy map, I start with a venerable USFS map of Bighorn National Forest. However, the Cloud Peak 500 swings pretty far south of the Bighorn National Forest through public lands managed primarily by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and then ventures east through privately owned prairie. Overall, more miles of the Cloud Peak 500 lay outside the boundaries of Bighorn National Forest than inside.

Time for a trip to Roam'n Around, a local outdoors outfitter offering a wide selection of maps and guide books. Sure enough, they stock a DeLorme Atlas and Gazetteer of Wyoming. Perfect. With all the detail and color codes, I decide to cut out the appropriate pages and just mark them up. Here they are, so far.

6 sheets of maps + 1 set of cue sheets + 1 compass + attentive analysis = my Cloud Peak 500 navigation system.

That's my way.


Pages 1, 11 (miles 0-85, 165-175; 480-485).  Back side page 10 (miles 435-480).
Starts west from Sheridan along the Bozeman Trail, then the big climb up Red Grade Road.
Also, page 11 for the final few miles into Sheridan from the Eastern prairie.
On the back side, page 10 is 45 miles of gravel through cowboy country.

Page 2 (miles 85-165). Drops to Shell and on to the Dinosaur Tracks.
The detour to Medicine Wheel starts at about Mile 108.

Pages 3, 8 (miles 175-200, 205-285; 365-410). Back side pages 7, 9 (miles 355-365, 410-435).
Lots going on here, including the back road to Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site
and then down to Ten Sleep and its NoWoodStock Music Festival.
Also, page 8 for the climb up Slip Road and the descent into Crazy Woman Canyon.
On the back side, page 7 climbs up Slip Road from Kaycee.
Also, on the back side, page 9 emerges from Crazy Woman Canyon near Buffalo.

Page 4 (miles 200-205). Just a short jaunt onto this sheet to visit Hyattville.

Page 5 (miles 285-320). Many river and drainage crossings, including the Middle Fork Powder River,
which features a BLM primitive campground. Closing in on The Hole In The Wall.

Page 6 (miles 320-355). A back road access to The Hole In The Wall and up to Kaycee.

Pages 7, 9 (miles 355-365, 410-435). Back side pages 3, 8 (miles 175-200, 205-285; 365-410).
Page 7 starts the last big climb up Slip Road out of Kaycee.
Also, page 9 pops out of Crazy Woman Canyon near Buffalo and heads out into the prairie.
On the back side, page 3 enters the Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site
and then drops to Ten Sleep and its NoWoodStock Music Festival.
Also, on the back side, page 8 climbs up Slip Road for the descent into Crazy Woman Canyon.


Page 10 (miles 435-480). Back side pages 1, 11 (miles 0-85, 165-175; 480-485).
45 miles of prairie gravel through cowboy country.
On the back side, page 1 starts west from Sheridan along the Bozeman Trail,
then the big climb up Red Grade Road.
Also, on the back side, page 11 for the final few miles into Sheridan.

Here's a big picture look at the Cloud Peak 500, from cloudpeak500,blogspot.com.



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